01/16/2014 1:46PM

Santa Anita: Fanticola set for stakes debut in Megahertz

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Benoit & Associates
Fanticola is 3 for 3 since switching from synthetic tracks to turf.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The red-hot Fanticola, a winner of three consecutive races from September to December, makes her stakes debut in Saturday’s $75,000 Megahertz Stakes at Santa Anita. The winning streak is likely to remain intact, trainer Mike Mitchell said Thursday.

“For her to win the race, she’ll have to improve, and she showed me she can improve,” Mitchell said. “She’s trained well and showed me signs that she’s better than an allowance horse or a high-priced claimer.”

Owned by Tony Fanticola and Joe Scardino, Fanticola has won 3 of 6 starts, with all her wins coinciding with a move from racing on synthetic tracks to turf last summer. The wins have come at distances ranging from about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course to 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park.

The Megahertz Stakes is run at a mile on turf for fillies and mares. Through the winning streak, Mitchell said Fanticola has changed.

“She’s coming out of her races in good shape and getting bigger and stronger,” he said. “She’s like a gorilla to gallop.”

Fanticola, who will be ridden by Joe Talamo, is likely to have the lead. She closed from fourth to win an allowance race on the hillside turf course last October. If she makes the lead, Fanticola figures to be closely followed by Moone’s My Name, who was third in the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap at Hollywood Park in April.

[Strub Stakes: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live]

Trained by John Sadler, Moone’s My Name did not start again until December 5 when winning an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Hollywood Park. In the Grade 3 Robert Frankel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Dec. 29, Moone’s My Name finished fifth, fading in the final furlong.

“We think we ran her too far the other day,” Sadler said. “I think she’s a miler. She acted up in the paddock last time, and we’ve schooled her a lot. Hopefully, she’ll be better behaved.”

The field of seven includes Gulsary, third in the Frankel Stakes; Lady Ten, who was fifth behind Moone’s My Name in the Dec. 5 allowance race; Dancingtothestars, second in that same race; Charm the Maker, who won the restricted Adoration Stakes on turf at Del Mar last September; and Charlie Em.